• Pletcher will be well-represented on opening weekend at Big A as fields take shape for G2 Tempted, G2 Nashua; Breeders’ Cup quartet awaiting mid-week flight to California
• Breeders’ Cup hopefuls have final works at Belmont
• Stormy Len to step up in G2 Nashua
• Clement could have two starters in G3 Long Island ‘Cap
Both horses worked Sunday morning, with Boisterous covering a half-mile over the inner turf in 48.19 and Hit It Rich clocked in 51.03 for the same distance. Boisterous was sent in company with Breeders’ Cup Turf hopeful Point of Entry, who was timed in 47.64.
“Boisterous is doing really, really good,” McGaughey said of the 5-year-old son of Distorted Humor. “He came out of his last race really good and he was dying to work.”
Boisterous picked up a repeat victory in the Grade 3 Knickerbocker at Belmont Park on October 13, which followed a ninth-place finish in the Grade 1 Arlington Million in August. Owned by Phipps Stable, he has four graded stakes wins to his credit.
“I didn’t want to do too much with him in between races, so I waited until today,” McGaughey said. “He worked really well and he ran so good in there last year, I’m hoping he can do it again.”
According to NYRA Stakes Coordinator Andrew Byrnes, Bombaguia, Hailstone, Queens’splatekitten, and Westside Corral are also targeting the Red Smith.
Hit It Rich, a multiple Grade 3 winner, will attempt to cap her career with a second victory in the 1 ½-mile Long Island on November 10. Campaigned by Stuart Janney, III, she most recently finished ninth in the Grade 1 Flower Bowl Invitational on September 29 at Belmont.
“She’ll run in the Long Island and that will be it for her,” McGaughey said. “She’s got a date with War Front.”
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Trainer Todd Pletcher appears to have a busy bi-coastal weekend coming up with a handful of horses targeting the opening weekend stakes at Aqueduct as well as a full contingent for the Breeders’ Cup at Santa Anita Park.
Queen’splatekitten, 2 ¾-length winner of an optional claimer on October 11, is scheduled to return to stakes company in the Grade 2, $200,000 Red Smith on Saturday at 1 3/8 miles on the turf. The optional claimer was the first win of the year for the 4-year-old Kitten’s Joy colt, who this summer was second and third in the Oceanport and Red Bank stakes, both Grade 3 events at Monmouth Park.
Next Sunday, Pletcher likely will have 2-year-old fillies Kimono, most recently third in the Blue Hen at Delaware Park, and Unabashed, fourth behind winner Kauai Katie in the Grade 2 Matron, going a mile in the Grade 3, $150,000 Tempted.
Likely to meet Kimono, who worked a half-mile in 49.82 on Saturday, and Unabashed, who went the same distance in 48.29, are recent maiden winners Cue the Moon and Emollient as well as My Happy Face and Toasting, the second- and third-place finishers behind Dreaming of Julia in the Grade 1 Frizette. The Tony Dutrow-trained Swinger’s Party is questionable, according to NYRA stakes coordinator Andrew Byrnes.
The Pletcher-trained juveniles Darwin, a wire-to-wire winner of his debut on October 6, and Violence, also victorious in his only start, are targeting the Grade 2, $200,000 Nashua at a mile on the same card as the Tempted.
“Both Nashua candidates worked very well on Saturday,” said Pletcher’s assistant, Whit Beckman, referring to Violence’s bullet five-furlong move in 1:00.68 on the training track, over which Darwin traveled the same distance in 1:00.69. “They’re both on track for the fourth of November.”
Beckman reported that Pletcher’s Belmont-based Breeders’ Cup hopefuls also emerged from their Saturday preparations in good order, and are ready to ship to California when the weather permits.
“We’re still scheduled to ship them all out,” said Beckman of Shanghai Bobby (Juvenile), Dreaming of Julia (Juvenile Fillies), Turbulent Descent (Filly & Mare Sprint) and Kauai Katie (Juvenile Fillies or Juvenile Sprint). “My understanding is the flight may be pushed back from Tuesday to Wednesday. But all in all, it doesn’t really hurt us.”
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Hall of Fame trainer Bill Mott sent his quartet of Breeders’ Cup hopefuls out for their final works Sunday morning, with Royal Delta (48.96), To Honor and Serve (47.72) and Flat Out (48.01) all turning in half-mile works over Belmont Park’s main track. Ron the Greek worked four furlongs on the training track in a bullet 47.83. Mott has said that Royal Delta is likely to defend her title in Friday’s Breeders’ Cup Ladies’ Classic, though she was pre-entered along with her three stablemates in Saturday’s $5 million Classic.
Trainer Chad Brown had his six Breeders’ Cup contenders out early this morning, with all but Awesome Feather working on the inner turf. Noble Tune and Balance the Books, both headed to the Juvenile Turf, worked five furlongs together in 1:03.99, while Corporate Jungle (Turf Sprint) breezed five furlongs in 1:01.20, Zagora (Filly & Mare Turf) worked a half mile in 48.77 with Watsdachances (Juvenile Fillies Turf), who went in 49.76. Headed for the Ladies’ Classic, Awesome Feather covered a half-mile in 48.50 on the main track.
Working on the main track Sunday for trainer Barclay Tagg was Jersey Town, who was clocked in 1:04.08 for five furlongs to wrap up preparations for Saturday’s Breeders’ Cup Dirt Mile.
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Stormy Len, a front-running winner of his debut on September 29 at Belmont, will most likely come back in Sunday’s Nashua, trainer David Donk said this morning.
“The intention is to run in the Nashua,” said Donk of the 2-year-old Harlan’s Holiday colt, who is owned by Leonard Leveen and Michael Shanley. “I’m not used to winning first time out and then having to jump in a stakes.”
In his debut, Stormy Len quickly gained the lead and set fractions of 23.29, 46.96, and 1:11.43 en route to a half-length victory in 1:24.46 for the seven furlongs, earning an 82 Beyer Speed Figure.
“He’s a horse with a lot of ability – how good is he? And on the dirt?” added the trainer, noting the colt, who is out of a Dynaformer mare, is bred for the turf. “But he’s trained really well, and we’re going to find out how he stacks up with everyone.”
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Trainer Christophe Clement likely will point a pair of fillies for the Grade 3 Long Island Handicap with the British-bred Aigue Marine set to join his string after starting her career in France in the care of his brother, Nicholas, and Grade 2 New York winner Mystical Star returning to turf following a runner-up effort on the Polytrack at Keeneland in the Grade 1 Spinster earlier this month.
“Mystical Star most probably will go here, though I might run her in a 1 ¼-mile race at Woodbine next weekend on the Polytrack,” Clement said, referring to the Maple Leaf Stakes on Saturday, November 3. “I’ll speak to the owner. She’s doing very well and she came back from the Spinster very well.
“Aigue Marine is coming – she’s trained by my older brother Nicolas and she will stay with me after the race,” Clement continued. “She’s an improving 3-year-old filly. The dam, Aiglonne, came to the states and I trained her. She was a useful 1 ½-mile type horse.”
In August, Aigue Marine won the Prix Association Graine d'Avenir-Grand Prix de Clairefontaine at Clairefontaine-Deauville, a race run at the 1 ½-mile Long Island distance.
NYRA Stakes Coordinator Andrew Byrnes said that Kissable and Starformer, the 1-2 finishers from the Waya Stakes in August at Saratoga Race Course, were also probable for the Long Island. Clarinet, Senada, and Tannery were listed as possible.